Adult with ADHD and is it wrecking your relationship?

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We tend to think of ADHD as something that only affects children but many people may not be aware that adults can also suffer from ADHD too.

It is estimated that around 50 percent of children who are diagnosed with ADHD will eventually grow out of it, but what about those who don’t?

A recent article in the New York Times says that if your husband or wife is constantly forgetting chores and losing track of the calendar and that if you sometimes feel you are raising another child instead of living with a spouse, then your marriage may be suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The most common symptoms in an adult with ADHD include being easily distracted, highly disorganised, and often forgetful. These symptoms may in turn cause the other person in the relationship to think their partner is lazy, selfish and doesn’t care.

Apparently around 4 percent of adults have the disorder and that many of these adults may never have been diagnosed with ADHD as a child. As such many of these adults are struggling to cope in a world where they are often misunderstood, particularly as there hasn’t been much focus on adults with ADHD.

Psychiatrist Dr Jillian Glass recently visited Good Day to explain how ADHD in adults can affect their relationships and their marriage.

She reckons that in relationships where one person has ADHD, the other partner may find that they have to take on more responsibility for things like paying bills etc. The partner with ADHD may often miss appointments or turn up late for meetings. They may not spend a lot of time with the family and could be giving the impression that they don’t care.

There could also be financial stress due to the adult with ADHD being unable to hold down a job for any length of time.

Of course ADHD should not be used as an excuse for something who is genuinely lazy and disorganised but if you are really struggling with symptoms of ADHD and wonder how you can cope there are things you can do.

Dr Glass says that couples therapy can be beneficial as there could be years of built up anger and resentment within the relationship. She recommends learning organisation techniques and using things like calendars, personal organisers and even digital voice recorders to help you keep track of the things you need to do.

The bottom line says Dr Glass is that within a relationship each partner has to recognise the role they are playing so they can make a change.

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